Der Adler, der Wolf, und die Sonne: Die Geschichte des Stahlpakts

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XIV: Beware the Communist Menace! Causes of the Soviet War Declaration

Wraith11B

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XIV: Beware the Communist Menace!
Causes of the Soviet Declaration of War​

It has become something of a truism that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would, eventually, fight an existential war with one another; that the government ideologies of Fascism and Communism were diametrically opposed and a struggle for supremacy was the only possible outcome. This understanding comes from the focus from Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, and post-war revisionism out of both the Reichstag and Kremlin. Roots of this conflict extend to before the Great War: the unification of Germany and its rapid industrialization combined with the fall of the Bismarckian system of reinsurance to isolate France had caused Russian paranoia vis a vis Germany. These problems were only reinforced by the Great War: now the conflict in ideology spiced the tension between the two powers. The only control of this tension was the threat of a two-front war for Germany.

A two-front war had tempered Germany: the feeling of encirclement which the Germans termed einkreisung, was only felt amongst Berlin, and the sentiment was heightened by their loss in the First World War. By the mid-to-late thirties, this sentiment was only enhanced: while before the Great War, Germany had notional allies in the massive paper-tigers of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires, by 1936, Germany only had Italy. The walls were pressing in on Berlin through einkreisung. On the part of Moscow, losses in both the Great War as well as during the early interbellum period combined with their failure to rise to the occasion when attempting to confront Finland caused a distinct sentiment of being unable to tolerate another diplomatic setback, much the same predicament that Nicholas II had found himself in just before the June Crisis.

Germany had worked hard to counter their einkreisung: first gaining Italy and later Hungary as continental allies and managing to expand relatively peacefully through the Anschluss, Treaty of Munich and the subsequent occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, then accepting Japan into the Anti-COMINTERN Pact internationally. A major coup was the destabilization of France, first through the subversion of their political foundations and from there to the acceptance into the Pact. All of the dreams of the pre-Great War Septemberprogramm (September Program) were coming to fruition: a dream of Mitteleuropa, a German-led hegemony over the continent.

Stalin had watched Germany’s rise for some time: he understood that the West appeared to be tottering towards a Capitalist war. He would have preferred to allow the Capitalists to bleed themselves white before picking up the pieces; Stalin certainly feared facing Hitler’s resurgent Germany alone. The West’s failure to engage combined with Germany’s approaches to secure their western flank convinced Stalin that he had to work with his own national interest. This resolve, however, faltered with the compromise of the French, and thus began making preparations to oppose the Germans, but he had not counted on the Royal Navy--and by extension, the entire British Empire--being wiped out.

On the other hand, Stalin knew that the days of the Germans providing military supplies in exchange for the Soviet resources were coming to an end. Already, several missed shipments had been conveniently overlooked by the Kremlin, but the balance of trade was becoming something that the Soviets could not abide. This was in part because of how hot the economy had been run for nearly a year: Schact’s ploy with the MEFO bills had not yet made it back to the coop, but could be heard clucking at the gates. Some research indicates that this was Goering’s doing: by going behind Speer’s back to wreck agreements which had kept the German war machine rolling, he might spark the war in which Goering was confident would bring him back into the Fuhrer’s full confidence. Unrelated to Germany specifically, but directly related to their alliance, the Bulgarians were becoming too cozy with the Italians: Bulgarian demands had already been satisfied against the Romanians, but Italy held territories which had been Bulgarian before the League of Nations had resolved them to Greece’s benefit in the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine. In negotiations with the Italians, the Bulgarians would accede to the Anti-COMINTERN Pact, in exchange for the territories of Western Thrace. The Soviet Union was furious: their view was that Bulgaria would be in their diplomatic orbit, despite the autocratic absolute monarchy in Sofia.

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*****​
Author's Note:
One last post you say?
I find this simply a function of me needing to get back onto my Midnight shift schedule, being able to catch this as it happens!

I can see how such a baffling impossibility would indeed cause problems. Wehraboo unreality and contempt for logistics is indeed amongst the most fierce of all the fictional opponents.
Verily.

There was a brief phase of that. Now it is just fascination to see just how badly someone can bully an AI and amazement at the logical contortions invoked to try (and admittedly fail) to justify the impossible.
I've poked it with the bayonet so many times that it is basically at the end of Death by A Thousand Cuts.[/I][/I]
 
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diskoerekto

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Wow this is comprehensive! Great update! And things don't seem to be too bright for USSR at all, they're behind at nearly everything and they have less of nearly everything. The only thing that can save them some time would be using their numerical superiority of armor, and tech superiority of heavy armor (but this one they need to build more of, there's 2 under construction but they'll need more). Still it's a losing battle for them.

By the way, I think I remember what different letters and parentheses stood for in the tech comparisons, but still can you also include a legend for those?
 
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roverS3

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I'm afraid the Soviet Union is in serious trouble. 'Odin' wouldn't be happy at the relative lack of preparation by the USSR. I hope they're already preparing to move their entire industry to the Urals, they're going to have to.
 
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guillec87

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this is the clash we have been waiting for
 
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Bullfilter

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Agree with others, the Soviets are behind in just about everything - except oil/fuel and manpower. And steppe, I suppose. ;) But with the UK out of the war and the US (iirc) still out of it, they would seem to be in a New Axis World Order of trouble! Especially if Japan attack them in the east and it’s the old two-front war for the Soviets rather than Germany.

I think it’s more the Fascist than the Communist menace that needs to be feared in this time line. :eek:
 
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nuclearslurpee

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XIV: Beware the Communist Menace!
Causes of the Soviet Declaration of War
This would be much funnier were the second line the first, and not even entirely off-brand.

I must commend the effort that goes into these posts, as always, though I must critically assess the value of spending such effort to characterize the Soviet Navy. Simply inserting clip art of a split bucket of bolts alongside a stock image of a life preserver should be sufficient here.

Noting that the Soviets possess a superiority in line infantry and armored vehicles, I would expect them to at least put up a good fight while running the Germans out of MP as is usual in vanilla HoI3. However, knowing equally well that the AI has stationed half the armor in Trans-Amur and one-third of the infantry to garrison Mariehamn I hold out little hope, particularly as I know the Soviets cannot be human-controlled as any sane human player would have quit the Hearts of Iron series cold turkey rather than reorganize such an abomination of an OOB.
 
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diskoerekto

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I know the Soviets cannot be human-controlled as any sane human player would have quit the Hearts of Iron series cold turkey rather than reorganize such an abomination of an OOB.
I did that twice, it was more work than game. that night also all night in my dream I was reorganizing brigades. it was a nightmare.
 
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A graphical tour-de-force as always Deputy Wraith. I'm saddened (but in no way surprised) that the Soviets did not use their extra few years of peace to build one of their ridiculous naval projects. Obviously they would never have finished them and they would all be quite, quite terrible, but a world with a Kronshtadt-class battlecruiser in it would be a happier place. Mainly because it would give something for everyone to laugh at, but I would argue that still counts.

post-war revisionism out of both the Reichstag and Kremlin
Spoilers! We now know neither of those places gets destroyed by nukes.

While checking to see how many of the named people in the update were in fact dead (surprisingly few, and of course it was wonderful to see the hilariously scandalous von BLomberg still in place) I realised I vaguely remembered the name Panfilov so looked him up. While I didn't find him I did find this most Soviet of stories - Panfilov's Twenty-Eight Guardsmen. The tale of 28 soldiers who all died in the Battle of Moscow but destroyed 18 German tanks before they died and so stopped the attack and helped save the city. They were collectively declared Heroes of the Soviet Union for this feat of sacrifice and a massive and tasteless statue was built. As one would expect every single part of the story was a lie, no tanks were destroyed, the Germans were not delayed on that day and several of the 28 survived (including one who became a German collaborator). The statue stands to this day and when in 2015 the head of the Russian State Archives pointed out the story was entirely false and published the documents proving this, he was sacked and the Russian Culture Minister said this;

"It is my deep conviction that even if this story was invented from the start to the finish [...], it is a sacred legend which it's simply impossible to besmirch. And people who try to do that are total scumbags."
 
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The statue stands to this day and when in 2015 the head of the Russian State Archives pointed out the story was entirely false and published the documents proving this, he was sacked and the Russian Culture Minister said this;

"It is my deep conviction that even if this story was invented from the start to the finish [...], it is a sacred legend which it's simply impossible to besmirch. And people who try to do that are total scumbags."
This is the way to only hear what you want to hear ... as no one dares tell you the opposite, did this evar happen before in history ...
 
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Maybe then Japan has no need to strike south. When the germans are done fighting Russia, they'll both be so depleted that the Japanese cab just roll them both over no issue. Take all of siberia, install some puppets or friendly governments in europe, and bribe the colonials with offers to restore France and Western Europe if they give up their Asian colonies.
 
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Wraith11B

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Wow this is comprehensive! Great update! And things don't seem to be too bright for USSR at all, they're behind at nearly everything and they have less of nearly everything. The only thing that can save them some time would be using their numerical superiority of armor, and tech superiority of heavy armor (but this one they need to build more of, there's 2 under construction but they'll need more). Still it's a losing battle for them.

By the way, I think I remember what different letters and parentheses stood for in the tech comparisons, but still can you also include a legend for those?
Yes, I had intended to add the legend, my apologies.

Indeed, the only thing that the Soviets have going for them is to try for local superiority... but at this point in time that's still contingent upon the AI actually, ya know, working. To be fair, the numbers (as will be shown when I finally do up the maps graphics) are slightly misleading. The entirety of German interceptors are in the West to defend against British strategic bombing raids; the majority of the multi-role aircraft are either in the North Sea region, along with the Kriegsmarines' naval bomber squadrons. The tactical air forces are largely in the East. Germany (eventually) pays for this error.

Not a good time to be a commie ...
Not at all, unfortunately.

I'm afraid the Soviet Union is in serious trouble. 'Odin' wouldn't be happy at the relative lack of preparation by the USSR. I hope they're already preparing to move their entire industry to the Urals, they're going to have to.
Indeed, it is. Not to mention that--a bit of a spoiler alert--the Soviets start just mass producing mechanized infantry divisions, which are great, but expensive and take bloody forever to build. I seriously saw maybe five or so regular infantry divisions at one point. It was one of the things that I rectified.

this is the clash we have been waiting for
Because of course!

Agree with others, the Soviets are behind in just about everything - except oil/fuel and manpower. And steppe, I suppose. ;) But with the UK out of the war and the US (iirc) still out of it, they would seem to be in a New Axis World Order of trouble! Especially if Japan attack them in the east and it’s the old two-front war for the Soviets rather than Germany.

I think it’s more the Fascist than the Communist menace that needs to be feared in this time line. :eek:
The issue was that the Soviets declared war, and thus, the normal routine of a NAP with Japan did not actually pan out.

This would be much funnier were the second line the first, and not even entirely off-brand.

I must commend the effort that goes into these posts, as always, though I must critically assess the value of spending such effort to characterize the Soviet Navy. Simply inserting clip art of a split bucket of bolts alongside a stock image of a life preserver should be sufficient here.
I know. It was sad because they gloriously sailed out and were gloriously sunk... hope I didn't spoil that for anyone.

Noting that the Soviets possess a superiority in line infantry and armored vehicles, I would expect them to at least put up a good fight while running the Germans out of MP as is usual in vanilla HoI3. However, knowing equally well that the AI has stationed half the armor in Trans-Amur and one-third of the infantry to garrison Mariehamn I hold out little hope, particularly as I know the Soviets cannot be human-controlled as any sane human player would have quit the Hearts of Iron series cold turkey rather than reorganize such an abomination of an OOB.
That's one thing that I wish Paradox had done better: teach the AI how to use their forces: even just a "This is a Garrison unit, it belongs WELL BEHIND the line in a Fort or a City."

I did that twice, it was more work than game. that night also all night in my dream I was reorganizing brigades. it was a nightmare.
Oof. Not entirely looking forward to it in my next project.

A graphical tour-de-force as always Deputy Wraith. I'm saddened (but in no way surprised) that the Soviets did not use their extra few years of peace to build one of their ridiculous naval projects. Obviously they would never have finished them and they would all be quite, quite terrible, but a world with a Kronshtadt-class battlecruiser in it would be a happier place. Mainly because it would give something for everyone to laugh at, but I would argue that still counts.
It would have been, and would have made for a fun time.

Spoilers! We now know neither of those places gets destroyed by nukes.
Well... I guess.

While checking to see how many of the named people in the update were in fact dead (surprisingly few, and of course it was wonderful to see the hilariously scandalous von BLomberg still in place) I realised I vaguely remembered the name Panfilov so looked him up. While I didn't find him I did find this most Soviet of stories - Panfilov's Twenty-Eight Guardsmen. The tale of 28 soldiers who all died in the Battle of Moscow but destroyed 18 German tanks before they died and so stopped the attack and helped save the city. They were collectively declared Heroes of the Soviet Union for this feat of sacrifice and a massive and tasteless statue was built. As one would expect every single part of the story was a lie, no tanks were destroyed, the Germans were not delayed on that day and several of the 28 survived (including one who became a German collaborator). The statue stands to this day and when in 2015 the head of the Russian State Archives pointed out the story was entirely false and published the documents proving this, he was sacked and the Russian Culture Minister said this;

"It is my deep conviction that even if this story was invented from the start to the finish [...], it is a sacred legend which it's simply impossible to besmirch. And people who try to do that are total scumbags."
Yet still nothing new out of the Kremlin.

This is the way to only hear what you want to hear ... as no one dares tell you the opposite, did this evar happen before in history ...
*super sarcastic* Noooooo...

Maybe then Japan has no need to strike south. When the germans are done fighting Russia, they'll both be so depleted that the Japanese cab just roll them both over no issue. Take all of siberia, install some puppets or friendly governments in europe, and bribe the colonials with offers to restore France and Western Europe if they give up their Asian colonies.
Insofar as they already have secured that region and thus can take their time with Siberia.
 
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To be fair, the numbers (as will be shown when I finally do up the maps graphics) are slightly misleading. The entirety of German interceptors are in the West to defend against British strategic bombing raids; the majority of the multi-role aircraft are either in the North Sea region, along with the Kriegsmarines' naval bomber squadrons. The tactical air forces are largely in the East. Germany (eventually) pays for this error.
Oh good, another bloody nose along the road to overwhelming dominance. Keeps 'em humble, it does.

I know. It was sad because they gloriously sailed out and were gloriously sunk... hope I didn't spoil that for anyone.
Gloriously spoilt.

Oof. Not entirely looking forward to it in my next project.
This requires the correct perspective. Embrace the OOB madness. Love the OOB madness. Be consumed by the OOB madness. Life is OOB madness. Love is OOB madness. Bear the demon spawn of the OOB madness...

The correct perspective may be somewhat less extreme and cultish, but do we really want it to be? We do, after all, play this game for a reason...
 
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Oh good, another bloody nose along the road to overwhelming dominance. Keeps 'em humble, it does.
Aye, humble. A small serving before it gets shoved in their face.

Gloriously spoilt.


This requires the correct perspective. Embrace the OOB madness. Love the OOB madness. Be consumed by the OOB madness. Life is OOB madness. Love is OOB madness. Bear the demon spawn of the OOB madness...
Honestly, I do appreciate it, but since I'll be working with a mod (of some sort), I'll probably not be as badly off as the vanilla version.

The correct perspective may be somewhat less extreme and cultish, but do we really want it to be? We do, after all, play this game for a reason...
Indeed we do!
 
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That's one thing that I wish Paradox had done better: teach the AI how to use their forces: even just a "This is a Garrison unit, it belongs WELL BEHIND the line in a Fort or a City."
HeheHeheHEHEHOHOHOHOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
 
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HeheHeheHEHEHOHOHOHOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Indeed.

Wraith has made the common mistake of assuming HOI games even have an AI. In reality Paradox just borrowed the code for a random number generator and then linked that to the game engine. If it looks like the 'AI' is making inexplicably random decisions, that's because it is.
 
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Indeed.

Wraith has made the common mistake of assuming HOI games even have an AI. In reality Paradox just borrowed the code for a random number generator and then linked that to the game engine. If it looks like the 'AI' is making inexplicably random decisions, that's because it is.
That said I wouldn't know where to start to make a better AI or if I could at all.
 
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